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Are you getting the best nutrition in pregnancy?

Pregnant Lady Reading BookThe importance of diet in Pregnancy

Not only have physical disorders been linked with poor nutrition before and during pregnancy, but neurological disorders and handicaps are also a risk that is run by mothers who are malnourished.  Poor nutrition can also lead to the child becoming more susceptible to degenerative diseases later in life. 23.8% of babies are estimated to be born with lower than optimal weights at birth due to lack of proper nutrition.Poor nutrition before and during pregnancy can affect the growth and development of your baby. Due to baby’s rapid growth in such a short period of time it is important to increase calories, healthy fats and nutrients according to your body’s signals, it is also a time to make very careful food choices.  Some nutrients are needed in much higher quantities – folic acid for example, is required for rapid periods of growth, such as pregnancy and this nutrient is best increased at least 3 months prior to conception.

Foods to focus on:

  • Vegetables – Include a large variety of fresh, organic vegetables especially dark green leafy vegetables. Increase your intake of home-prepared salads (make sure they have been carefully washed), vegetable juices and raw and cooked vegetables.
  • Fruit – eat 2-3 pieces daily.
  • Water – drink at least 9-12 filtered glasses of water a day. Preventing dehydration during pregnancy helps relieve oedema, UTI, dizziness, nausea, acidity, heartburn and indigestion.
  • Fats – monounsaturated and saturated fats ar  essential for healthy growth, especially during pregnancy. Use cold press extra virgin oils flaxseed, olive, avocado, coconut.

Protein rich foods at least 3 times daily

  • Animal Protein contains all the amino acids and is high in Iron.  Eat red meats in moderation and include organic, grass fed meats.
  • Plant source proteins are incomplete proteins but by combining two of the following you will create a complete protein source: whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat) and seeds
  • Nuts
  • Legumes (beans, tempeh, tofu)
  • Fish – Omega 3's is important for foetal neurological development, hormone production, and protection against allergies.  Avoid large fish e.g tuna, swordfish. Eat less polluted, deep sea, cold water fish such as: salmon, sardines, mackerel
  • Cooked eggs (free range / organic) a great source of protein

Foods to avoid

During pregnancy it is important to avoid some foods due to their high risk of bacterial or parasitic infection or poor nutritional value.
  •      Raw milk, soft ripened cheeses (blue camembert)
  •      Smoked fish
  •      Large fish - tuna swordfish
  •      Deli meats, pates, liver, sausages
  •      Caffeine - cola, coffee, tea, chocolate
  •      Salt - avoid foods high in salt, use Celtic or rock sea salt to taste
  •      ANY alcohol, recreational drugs and cigarette smoke
  •      Sugar, artificial sweeteners, fruit juices, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks
  •      Fast foods / Junk foods
  •      Allergenic foods
  •      Fried foods, margarine
It is very clear from studies that we may not get all the nutrients we need during pregnancy through diet alone, supplementation during pregnancy will help prevent deficiency.

Common nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy include:

  •      Iron
  •      Vitamin D
  •      Omega 3
  •      Calcium
  •      Zinc
  •      Iodine
  •      Folic Acid
No two pregnancies are the same, individuals may have different or additional dietary needs. Come and see Tanya in her clinic, she can advise you on an eating plan that is best suited to you!

Naturopath Tanya Marinovic

Tanya Marinovic photoTanya is a practising Naturopath and dedicated mother of two. Come and see Tanya in her clinic, she can advise you on an eating plan that is best suited to you! Learn more about Tanya here